Queen Anna Nzinga, also known as Ana de Sousa Nzinga Mbande, was a queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms (occupying what is today the country of Angola in the southern part of Africa) who lived during the 16th and 17th centuries AD. Queen Nzinga is best remembered for her resistance against the Portuguese, and setting her people free from slavery.
Anna’s Early Life
Queen Nzinga was born during the first half of the 1580s. Nzinga’s father, Ngola Kiluanji Kia Samba, was a ruler of the Ndongo people. In the same year that Nzinga was born, the king began to lead his people against the Portuguese colonialists.
These Europeans are said to have been raiding the territory of the Ndongo for slaves, as they tried to fill the increasing demands for slave labor in their New World colonies such as Brazil. Additionally, the Portuguese were attempting to conquer areas which they believed contained silver mines.